Photos that inspire me.

Hi Everyone. I thought I would share with you from time to time photos that I have found that inspire me. I love how the artist Ekaterina Efremova captured these beautiful children. From the exquisite lighting, the way they are standing in the frame, to their adorable expressions; I love it all. If you want to be inspired by more of Ekatrina’s work you may find her on a site called 500px

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The lost Art of Handtinting

Back in the day, before color film was invented artists would hand paint a black and white photo by painting on top of the photo with oil paints to simulate color. I have always loved this technique and learned to hand tint 28 years ago while I was at Memphis College of Arts. One of my all time favorites I have ever done was a life size photo of Hannah when she was 6 years old.

IMG_0279It Measures 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Makes quite the statement in the dining room. The paper these photos are printed on are archival to 200 years plus so they become treasured heirlooms.  I have several portraits I have handtinted of my girls over the years and I never get tired of looking at them. Recently I finally got around to handtinting a portrait of my daughter Ashlee from when she was 12 years old. It was taken in the most beautiful place; the estate of John Deer. It is historical home called Vizcaya and if you ever get to Miami you should take a tour.

Here is a image of the painting in progress.

IMG_7497-webYou can see how the color is transforming the image.The oils are transparent so everything you paint has a softer lighter tone than a real color photo has.It saddens me to know that this is becoming just another lost art in the world or technology.Today when a photographer handtints an image they just take a color photo and de-saturates it in photoshop. This takes about 10 seconds. My portraits take me hours to paint, but the effort is truly worth it. A true black and white photo that has been hand-painted has a real organic quality and depth to it. They are also a tangible part of me (as the artist) and my daughters that will be a living history for the generations to come.

The finished portrait.

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Longing for a little ray of sun

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This is where I long to be today. Who else is tired of all the cold and wet this winter? I took these on one of my trips to St. Martin. Larry keeps talking about moving there and with a winter like we have had this year, I have to say it seems very enticing.

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Happy Halloween

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We love decorating for Halloween and really enjoy seeing little ones all dressed up in their princess and pirate costumes. Sadly,though since we are not in a neighborhood we do not get many trick or treaters. So today when Larry jokingly  said why don’t we dress up the dogs and take photos of them, I jumped at the idea. If you know me you know I will never pass up the chance to have a precious subject in front of my camera. Since there are no little 2 legged  ones at home anymore our 4 legged babies get the joy of dressing up. Of course the trick for them was to sit or dance for the treat. I think they did a great job. For all of you that are blessed to have little ones still at home,here’s wishing you a very happy Halloween.

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Giving Thanks by Giving Back

 

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This is the time of the year when we reflect and give thanks. I find that I have so much to be thankful for. I have 2 amazing daughters and a wonderful son-in-law who are healthy and happy. I have a kind and loving husband of 23 years who is my best friend and the love of my life. I live in my dream home and I get up every morning and walk downstairs to work. Except I never look at what I do as work because it brings me so much happiness. To  be able to say I have been doing this for 26 years now and still loving it so much is a true blessing.

I am always happy to support all the school fundraisers in our community as well as charity auctions but I want to do more. It is my belief that when you have been given so much in life, you give back. So, my husband Larry and I sat down and decided to become true givers of the charities we support. For every portrait that we sell this year we will give a portion of the profits to these charities:

For any family portrait we sell all donations will go to The Heifer Foundation. My whole family has loved this charity from the day we first learned about them. Please go and read about them here:    http://www.heifer.org/

For any any portrait we sell of children all donations will go to The Ronald McDonald House. If you are not familiar with this wonderful charity you can read about them here: http://www.rmhc.org/

For any senior portraits we sell all donations will go to the Wren Haven House. This is a local organization who helps young people from 10 to 17 who are runaways and living on the streets get the help they need and a safe place to stay..

You can read about them here: http://www.havenhousenc.org/programs/wrenn-house

For any portrait sold with our 4 legged family members included all donations will go to Saving Grace. You can read about their good work here and while you at it maybe add a new member to your family . http://savinggracenc.org/

Please join us as we give thanks and give back.

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Paradise Found Again

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I recently had the good fortune to spend a month in St. Martin. We went down to shoot a wedding and stayed a few extra weeks. Hannah was with us this trip and we just enjoyed hanging out with friends on the beach most days. I really did not bother to take my camera with me to the beach as beaches are not a good place for expensive cameras but I did manage to snap a few fun images with my iphone. If looking at these images leaves you with a burning desire to run off to our beautiful island just give us a call. We have the perfect little place just waiting for your visit.

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Just a little smile for you

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Spring Trip to DC.

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It’s hard for me to believe I am  here in Washington DC. this week with my “baby” my youngest, looking at universities. Cliches can be so trite and the one “They grow up so fast”, is one we as parents seem to say all the time, but darn it, it is so TRUE! I can not believe I am going to have an empty nest next year. So this trip is also to celebrate my Hannah’s soon to be independence and my last chance for a “girls trip”. Her older sister Ashlee and I are here with her  in this beautiful city to have a bit of fun. We have made the rounds to our favorite museums, tracked down some killer food trucks, spent some quality time with our 4 legged loved ones(yes,our Sadie and Beau are with us) and we are now ending our trip at a concert with one of Hannah’s favorite musicians, Johnny Marr. It is so hard to know your little one is not so little anymore, but with everything in life there are blessings. I am so fortunate to be able to say I now have 2 amazing young women I get to hang out with, and am truly blessed to call them my daughters.

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Corn and Tomato Scramble

This is one of my favorite things to make in the summer when the tomatoes from the garden and ripe and fresh! This tomato and corn scramble is really easy to make and is super delicious! It is fabulous as a side, or even on it’s own for a light lunch or snack. It would also be great to bring to your next summer barbecue, everyone just loves it! I have made this dish at different times of the year, but the best flavor you are going to get is from your peak summer corn and tomatoes. If you try any new recipe this summer, this is the one you should definitely go for. It’s so darn good!

Ingredients:

8 Ears of Corn

4 Vine ripened fresh tomatoes

4-5 Green Onions

2TBSP Olive Oil

2TBSP White Balsamic Vinegar

3 TBSP Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

First slice all the kernels off of the corn cobs, chop up your green onions and tomatoes. In a large bowl mix vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, with a wire whisk, then add tomatoes to the bowl and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat, then add green onions and saute for a couple of minutes until they are tender. Then, add corn to your skillet. Saute corn until it’s just tender crisp, around 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Then add the corn mixture to the bowl of your tomato mixture. Serve at room temperature, which I prefer, or you can chill and serve it cold. It’s delicious either way! Summer in a bowl! Enjoy!

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Pin of the Week- August 2nd

I just love this cool DIY from Better Homes and Gardens. I love the paper they used and I love how they made a collage of them on a wall. It’s even cooler that they covered the books too. BHG on Pinterest has a lot of cool pins and boards. Next time we have a party at the house I know what i’ll be making for decor. Maybe I’ll do one of these collages for christmas too. They’d be great going up a stairway! You can see this pin here, and check out my DIY Crafts board on Pinterest here.

Happy Pinning!

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